Here's an in-progress list of some of my favorite books on cultural heritage, the illicit antiquities trade, archaeology, museums, etc., from all different sides of the issues. Because I'm always reading, the list is always being updated.

If you're just getting into these issues, the books you should read first have an asterisk (*) next to them.

Cultural Heritage/Property:

Barkan, Elazar. Bush, Ronald. ed. Claiming the Stones, Naming the Bones: Cultural Property and the Negotiation of National and Ethnic Identity. Oxford University Press, 2003.

Fitz Gibbon, Kate. Who Owns the Past? Cultural Policy, Cultural Property, and the Law. Rutgers University Press, 2005.

Messenger, Phyllis Mauch. The Ethics of Collecting Cultural Property: Whose Culture? University of New Mexico Press, 1999.

Robinson, Eleanor, et. al., Who Owns Objects? The Ethics and Politics of Collecting Cultural Artefacts. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2006.

Skeates, Robin. Debating the Archaeological Heritage. London: Duckworth Publishers, 2000.

The Trade:

Atwood, Roger. Stealing History: Tomb Raiders, Smugglers, and the Looting of the Ancient World. St. Martin's Griffin, 2006.

* Charney, Noah, ed. Art and Crime: Exploring the Dark Side of the Art World. Praeger, 2009.

Childs, Craig. Finders Keepers: A Tale of Archaeological Plunder and Obsession. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2010.

Hofstadter, Dan. Goldberg's Angel: An Adventure in the Antiquities Trade. New York: Farrar, Strauss, and the Giroux, 1994.

* Renfrew, Colin. Loot, Legitimacy and Ownership: The Ethical Crisis in Archaeology. Duckworth Publishers, 2009.

Rothfield, Lawrence. The Rape of Mesopotamia: Behind the Looting of the Iraq Museum. University of Chicago Press, 2009.

* Watson, Peter. Todeschini, Cecilia. The Medici Conspiracy: The Illicit Journey of Looted Antiquities--From Italy's Tomb Raiders to the World's Greatest Museums. Public Affairs, 2007.

Watson, Peter. Sotheby's: The Inside Story. New York: Random House, 1997.

* Waxman, Sharon. Loot: The Battle Over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World. New York: Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 2008.


Anderson, Gail. Reinventing the Museum: Historical Contemporary Perspectives on the Paradigm Shift. Altamira Press, 2004.

Cuno, James, ed. Whose Muse? Art Museums and the Public Trust. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006.

Cuno, James, ed. Whose Culture? The Promise of Museums and the Debate Over Antiquities. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009.

Cuno, James, ed. Who Owns Antiquity? Museums and the Battle Over Our Ancient Heritage. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010.

* Felch, Jason. Frammolino, Ralph. Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World's Richest Museum. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2011.

MacDonald, Sharon. A Companion to Museum Studies. Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.

Marstine, Janet. Routledge Companion to Museum Ethics: Redefining Ethics for the Twenty-First Century Museum. Routledge, 2011.


Ashmore, Wendy. Sharer, Robert J. Discovering Our Past: A Brief Introduction to Archaeology. New York: McGraw Hill, 2010.

Peregrine, Peter N. et al. ed. Archaeology: Original Readings in Method and Practice. Prentice Hall, 2002.

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